Today's guest post is by Davina Fear, Familyness Adventure Seeker, wife, mom, familyness photographer and creator of Love 15. “By day, I photograph families. By night, I build forts the size of elephants with my family. I live in a yellow house and I believe real life is the best getaway ever.” Follow her on Twitter.
As a wedding photographer during the first two years I was in business the start up seemed slow but steady. In the third year the amount of work that came to me as a result of those first two years became overwhelming. I was involved in a variety of projects, not to mention speaking engagements and weddings almost every weekend. It had been one year since my fourth child had been born and the summer had flashed by me before I had even taken a breath.
That’s when I knew that my life had to change.
My business became bigger than me. My life had become my business.
It didn’t feel like I had a real life anymore.
And most of us think that’s what we want.
Until it actually happens.
We think that the rush of what we’re looking for is in the next $1000 that’s handed over to us or the next presentation in front of a room full of people.
An entire summer passed by me while I shot weddings galore. An entire summer when I didn’t see my kids. We didn’t go to the pool, camping, or the other summer stuff that we looked forward to each year when school was out and the sky was clear. Instead, they had a nanny. The entire summer. I have nothing against nannies. I just didn’t plan to have a nanny. Ever.
Life can pass that quickly when we’re not paying attention. It happened to me.
It happens daily. In the little ways.
I was in a place I had never intended to end up.
At the time I was traveling and speaking and shooting sessions and weddings like crazy. I had raised my prices three times and still had plenty of work. It seemed like I was successful. It seemed like I was arriving.
… Arriving to a place I didn’t want to be.
I have a great family so the support I needed wasn’t an issue.
I was the issue.
I meant to be a mom and then a photographer. Not the other way around.
In the past few years I’ve met 100s of women from around the globe. What we all want most … even more than a successful business … is meaning and relationships that we can lean on.
This community of people, these photographers, want more than a successful business. They want a successful life.
As an industry we talk about balance and how much we need it. And I’ve wondered what that means?
And what I think we really want is to know that each day we’ve honestly connected with the people that mean the most to us.
We want moments every day where we’ve really looked at and seen the people we love most. That’s when we feel like we’re doing okay. That’s when we feel balanced. It means that we’ve done what we were meant to do for the day. We stopped our world and we saw what we’re blessed with.
That’s the purpose of Love 15.
A chance to really see the people we love the most.
I believe it can change the world because it changes our relationships, it makes us feel like a better mom, wife, husband, daughter, friend.
Love 15 is a little prompt each day. One small idea that takes less then 15 minutes.
Each morning an email arrives in your inbox as a little reminder with an adventure idea of how to spend 15 minutes with your spouse, child, friend, or someone you love that day.
The reason the idea arrives first thing in the morning is so that it can be there in your mind, just waiting for it’s perfect opportunity. Many people who are doing Love 15 go about their day as usual and in a pocket of time while they’re sitting and waiting for someone to come out to the car they’ll think, “This is it! This is a Love 15 moment.” And they do their adventure idea on the spot.
When I thought of the Love 15 concept I knew it would have to be easy and guilt-free. It’s not designed to be something that you add to your to do list. It’s an idea that floats around until it finds a landing place. If today got crazy. No worries. Tomorrow is a new day. And that means a new idea for a fresh day. They don’t pile on top of one another. They drift into a day and leave with the day.
Most days we know we want to do something meaningful with the people we love. We just don’t see the opportunities when they present themselves and sometimes when the opportunities do arrive we don’t know what to do in them because it’s unexpected.
So, starting today … spend just 15 minutes to a happier life and more familyness.
Love 15 went up to $12/month last Friday but Davina has graciously offered to bring the price back down to Tiffinbox readers until 5.30 pm EST on Tuesday, February 14 … yeah, for Valentine's Day … to $7.50/month. If having “family time” is as important to you as it is for me, I say “jump” on this special offer. I have!
Davina also offers Get To Know You (GTKY) kits – templates, essentially – for photographers. Use the code: seshu20, to receive 20% off anything you put in the cart. Buy either the WEDDING bundle or the INSIGHT bundle and save even more! (nope, I don't make a dime for promoting Davina's products)